100 years after the tragedy, the Titanic story still sparks our imaginations

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At noon on Wednesday, April 10, 1912, the majestic RMS Titanic began her maiden voyage from Southhampton, England, bound for New York. She was the largest man-made moving creation on land or sea at that time. Dignitaries, reporters, workmen, and a crowd of more than 100,000 gazed in awe at the departure of the magnificent ship.

She was taller than a 10-story building and nearly a sixth of a mile long.

The Titanic was, for her time, the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. She was destined to become the most famous ship
in history, just not in the way most expected.

She collided with an iceberg and sank during her maiden voyage 100 years ago.

Despite the short duration of her presence on the high seas — just five days — or the century that’s passed since her sinking, the RMS Titanic made an indelible impression.

The tragedy caused more than 1,500 deaths and inspired films, books, museums and other representations that have kept the legacy of the ship alive since her sinking on April 15, 1912.

The sinking’s centennial has sparked a lot of plans for commemoration, including two anniversary cruises to the site where the ship sank 100 years prior, a 3-D re-release of James Cameron’s 1997 feature film “Titanic” and a re-enactment of the voyage on Twitter, among other events.

SET SAIL

For truly die-hard Titanic buffs or those who just want to experience her legacy firsthand, Miles Morgan Travel offered two chances to sail through history and visit the site where the Titanic sank 100 years ago. One cruise sails out of Southampton, U.K., on April 8, and the other from New York on April 10.

Miles Morgan, the travel company’s owner, said the idea for an anniversary cruise came from a gentleman who was visiting one of their travel shops five years ago, and from then on Morgan couldn’t get the thought out of his head.

“The more I thought about it, the more excited I became, so I discussed the idea with colleagues in the travel business as well as with friends, and decided to do it,” Morgan said.

The project began about five years ago, and tickets for the trip originally sold out more than 16 months before the ships were set to leave port.

Morgan said there are a number of reasons so many people booked a ticket for this cruise.

“For many, it is being a part, and taking part, in such a memorable piece of history,” Morgan said. “Some of these people are looking forward to tasting the meals from that time or even dressing up in period costume to enhance the experience, while others are lifelong Titanic enthusiasts who have devoted a major part of their lives to studying this great ship and the events that surrounded it.”

Almost 1,200 people of 30 different nationalities signed up for the voyage — the largest group from the United Kingdom.

Due to cancellations there currently are some tickets available, so act fast if you want a feel for the Titanic experience.

For more information about the cruise, visit: www.titanicmemorialcruise.co.uk/

LOVE IN THE TIME OF SHIPWRECK

When some people hear the word “Titanic” their minds instantly jump to James Cameron’s 1997 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Many fell in love with the tragic love story 15 years ago and can’t wait for a second chance to sail alongside Jack and Rose in 3-D. Others have never seen the flick on the big screen and are looking forward to that.

The film will be re-released in 3-D in theaters nationwide on the 100th anniversary of the sinking. The re-release will pay tribute to the tragic event of 1912, as well as offer viewers a new way to watch the classic love story that won 11 Oscars.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE POND

Other events Titanic enthusiasts may be interested to know about include:

  • Titanic Belfast, a museum, opened in Northern Ireland on March 31. There you can experience life on board the Titanic and learn how the ship was found. For more details visit www.titanicbelfast.com.
  •  The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the “Titanic Requiem” by Robin Gibb on April 10 in London.
  • A four-part miniseries called “Titanic,” written by “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, will broadcast in England come April.

HISTORY RE-TWEETING ITSELF

#LookOutForThatIceberg

In the last 100 years a lot of things have changed, but right now social media is taking the world by storm. Those who don’t have the time, cash or desire to sail around the sites, see the movie or go to a museum can still experience the Titanic legacy right on their own computer screen.

Twitter handle @TitanicRealTime is recounting the journey of the RMS Titanic as it unfolded in 1912.

Some notable recent tweets have include:

  • #captain Exactly a month now before Titanic’s journey begins, I cannot wait to see her completed and on the ocean! March 10
  • #crew Next on the list is the lifeboats, 20 overall. 14 of them are the 30-footers, which should carry 65 people. March 12
  • #firstclass I hope we have sufficient heating in our quarters, it is sure to be cold as we travel across the icy Atlantic waters. March 19
  • #officer The painters have done a fantastic job in and out of the ship; a lot of surface area to be repainted at some point! March 22

Visit www.twitter.com/TitanicRealTime for more tweets.

SOURCES: “Beyond Reach: The Search for the Titanic,” by William Hoffman and Jack Grimm, “Discovering the Titanic,” by Jonathan Rawlinson, Discovery Channel, RMS Titanic, Inc., Paramount Pictures,  Miles Morgan Travel, Titanic Real Time, The Guardian, The Telegraph, robingibb.com.

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